Leinster beat Edinburgh in bruising encounter

Leinster proved too strong for Edinburgh, taking a bonus-point win to leapfrog the capital club in the United Rugby Championship standings.

Edinburgh put in a spirited display at the RDS Arena, battling against the holding champions with 22 players missing through international selection and injury.

The visitors put the Leinster defensive line under pressure, however the Dubliners flexed their muscles to score two tries in either half to take the match. Boffelli scored late on to ensure the capital club didn’t go scoreless, but it was ultimately a consolation.

Edinburgh started the match brightly, penning Leinster on their own line, carrying physically as they looked to get the opening score. Kunavula thought he had broken the deadlock but was deemed to have made a double movement in the act of scoring.

The game quickly turned Leinster’s way with Edinburgh being reduced to 14 men. Connor Boyle was shown a yellow card for a head-to-head collision, the flanker – who impressed over the ball all game – caught in the crossfire of a tackle.

The home side capitalised immediately, Scott Penny scoring from close after a series of carries on the Edinburgh line. McCarthy doubled the home side’s advantage shortly after, sniping from the base of a ruck to dive over to give Leinster a 14-0 half time lead.

Edinburgh started the second half in the same fashion as the first, throwing everything at the Irish side’s defence. The men in burnt orange spent the first 10 minutes of the half camped on the Leinster line but couldn’t force a breakthrough.

Leinster displayed their clinical edge, scoring their third through Abdaladze – the replacement prop scoring from close to put the game beyond Edinburgh. It didn’t take long for the bonus point try to follow suit, back-rower Max Deegan reaching over the line to finish off a flowing move from the hosts.

Emiliano Boffelli ensured that the team wouldn’t return to Scotland without having troubled the scoring, gliding past onrushing defenders to score brilliantly, having latched onto a fizzing flat pass from Cammy Hutchison.

live commentary 6:00 PM Friday 11 Feb 2022

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